by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
Monsanto is one of the most hated companies on the planet. …Unless you ask FORTUNE Magazine, that is. In that case, it’s apparently one of the world’s most admired companies. But if you actually ask real human beings then it ranks right behind BP and Bank of America as the third most hated company in the world.
Strange, then, that Monsanto’s reputation in the scientific literature is so squeaky clean. Apparently it’s just a bunch of science-hating neanderthals who dislike Monsanto’s products and all of those squeaky clean couldn’t-tell-a-lie, couldn’t-hurt-a-fly scientists know better.
Of course, as readers of this column will know, this seeming conundrum isn’t so strange after all. Scientists aren’t angels and the things they study (as well as the results they get) are all too often influenced by who’s paying for their research. And in the case of the peer-reviewed GMO safety literature, it isn’t hard to tie a lot of it back to the biotech companies themselves, Monsanto foremost among them.
If any more proof of this insidious influence were needed, it just arrived. A set of emails obtained under a freedom of information request has exposed the types of tricks that Monsanto does to keep “problematic” studies out of the literature.
First, some background. If you haven’t seen it already (or even if you have) go back and re-watch or re-read my (award-winning) 2013 report on the Seralini Roundup toxicity study, “Genetic Fallacy: How Monsanto Silences Dissent” and last year’s follow-up, “Study Linking GMOs and Tumors Vindicated Yet Again…MSM Stays Silent.”
Long story short: French biologist Dr. Gilles-Éric Séralini published a feeding study in which rats were fed various levels of Monsanto’s GM maize NK603 and the Roundup herbicide it is grown with. The results were shocking: despite having been cleared by an earlier (industry sponsored) study, Seralini’s study found liver congestions, necrosis, tumors and early death in rats fed Roundup or GMO corn, separately or combined.
As soon as Seralini’s results were announced the biotech industry and their lapdogs in the white lab coats began falling all over themselves, frothing at the mouth, and denouncing the study to anyone and everyone who would listen. “They used the wrong kind of rats!” they complained. “And they didn’t use enough rats!” they added. “And…and…uh, the statistical analysis was inadequate!”
As independent researchers like William Engdahl pointed out at the time, these criticisms were invalid because all GMO toxicity studies use the exact same type and number of rats as the Seralini study did. But such quibbles were lost amongst the din and bray of the chattering spokesman for the biotech industry, and eventually enough smoke was generated to allow the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) which published the study to retract it.
You’ll have to see the full report to fully appreciate how unusual this retraction was (even explicitly going against the journal’s own retraction guidelines), but here’s the upshot. After Seralini’s study was published, the FCT created an entirely new position: “Associate Editor for Biotechnology.” And out of all the people in the world they could have chosen for this new, made-up role, they just happened to choose Richard E. Goodman, who had previously worked in regulatory sciences for Monsanto from 1997 to 2004. After Goodman hopped on board, the journal not only retracted the Seralini study, but also a second, Brazilian study that showed adverse GMO health effects.
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